Gunner David Melville Kidd — 304203 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War I)
On January 6, 1916 David Melville Kidd completed the Attestation Paper for enlistment in the Canadian Army, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) Overseas in Kingston, Ontario. He was 22 years, 3 months and 12 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of the War. David Melville was born and lived in Lakefield, Ontario and gave his birth-date as September 25, 1894. He indicated he did not belong to an Active Militia and that he had never served in any Active Militia or Military Force. There is nothing on his File to indicate where he was educated or to what level, however he likely attended the Lakefield School System. David Melville gave his Trade as a Blacksmith. He signed the Attestation Paper on January 6, 1916. David Melville was 5′ 10½” tall, had a 38″ chest (expanded); his weight is not listed. He had a dark complexion with grey eyes and brown hair. David Melville’s Medical was done in Kingston; his Medical Records indicate that he was deemed fit for Overseas duty with the CEF. David Melville’s next-of-kin was listed as his mother, Mrs. Margaret Burgess who was living in Lakefield. David Melville Kidd was taken-on-strength as a Gunner (Gnr) with the 9th Brigade (Bde), 33rd Battery (Bty) Canadian Field Artillery (CAF) based in Kingston, on January 6, 1916 and was assigned Regimental Number 304203.
Gnr Kidd’s Military Records are very scanty with only a few details on movements and little on any other activities. Although not stated he would have been on training in the Kingston area in preparation to be sent to the United Kingdom (UK) and Overseas. In early February 1916 Gnr Kidd would have been transported, most likely by Rail Service to the Halifax, Nova Scotia area to prepare for embarkation to the UK. February 1, 1916 Gnr Kidd made a Pay Assignment that gave his mother, Mrs. Margaret Burgess, $20.00 monthly while he was in the Service. Gnr Kidd was a Blacksmith, his documents indicate that he was a “Shoesmith” in the Artillery. The Artillery Units all had a large number of horses and required someone to shoe them. Some Units called them blacksmiths, shoe-smiths or horse-shoers. He was appointed as the Battery Shoesmith.
February 5, 1916 Gnr Kidd embarked at Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the RMS Metagama bound for England. February 14, 1916 Gnr Kidd disembarked at Liverpool, England and was transferred from the Canadian Army (Canada) to the Canadian Army, (UK). The following 5 months are not detailed in his records, however this time would have been used for training and doing assigned duties
On July 13, 1916 Gnr Kidd embarked at Southampton, England and disembarked at Le Havre, France with the 9th Bde, 33rd Bty on July 14, 1916. There are no comments in his File to cover the four months from July 13 to November 22, 1916. On November 22, 1916 Gnr Kidd was admitted to Hospital (not stated) in the Field with a Cold. Then on November 24, 1916 Gnr Kidd was in No 7 Canadian General Hospital (CGH) at Étaples, France with Myalgia.
December 10, 1916 Gnr Kidd is transferred from No 7 CGH to No 6 Convalescent Depot at Étaples with Myalgia. Then on December 12, 1916 he was discharged from the No 6 Convalescent Depot. On December 25, 1916 Gnr Kidd was admitted to Hospital (not stated) in the Field with a severe Cold and discharged from that Hopital on December 26, 1916 and then rejoined his Unit. Gnr Kidd was next admitted to No 8 Canadian Field Ambulance (CFA) with Laryngitis on December 29, 1916, then on December 31, 1916 he was discharged and rejoined his Unit.
January 7, 1917 Gnr Kidd, still with the 33rd Bty, CFA, is admitted to a Hospital (not stated) in the Field with a Chafed Thigh; on January 9, 1917 he was discharged and rejoined his Unit in the Field. On January 30, 1917 Gnr Kidd was admitted to No 9 CFA with an ulcerated tooth and an Alveolar Abscess. Then, on February 13, 1917 he was with No 5 CFA with the Alveolar Abscess. On February 18, 1917 Gnr Kidd was discharged from the No 5 CFA in the Field and rejoined the 33rd Bty.
Gnr Kidd’s Military Records are very sparse, the vast majority of the data is related to his medical concerns, none of which were related to being wounded. The War Diary for the 9th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery was looked at for more details, however a large quantity of the document was very difficult to read. Since Gnr Kidd was appointed as the Battery Shoesmith, it is not known if he would have been involved in the action; quite likely he would have been in the Rear tending to the horses.
Scanning parts of the Diary the following locations (only a few) where the 33rd Battery was in action follow: Steenvooroe – July 16 to 25, 1916; Ramparts Ypres – July 26 to August 25, 1916; Steenvonde (Training Billet) – August 26 to September 9, 1916; Scherpenberg – September 10 to October 7, 1916 and Brickfields – October 8-9, 1916. [Spelling of names may be incorrect – difficult to read.]
January 6, 1918 Gnr Kidd was awarded the Good Conduct Badge in the Field. November 25, 1918 Gnr Kidd was granted 14 days Leave; December 20, 1918 he rejoined his Unit.
February 18, 1919 Gnr Kidd was granted 8 days Leave to the UK.
A Medical Examination Upon Leaving The Service yields the following information: Gunner Kidd was 5′ 10″ tall, had Hazel eyes and weighed 165 pounds. He also had 2 moles on the back of his neck, 2 moles on the side of his neck, 2 moles on his right chest and a vaccination mark on his right arm.
On March 19, 1919 Gnr Kidd is struck-off-strength from Canada (UK) on proceeding to Canada from the UK and taken-on-strength at No 2 District Depot, Toronto, Ontario. March 30, 1919 Gunner David Melville Kidd was discharged from His Majesty’s Service, due to demobilization, at No 2 District Depot, Toronto. After being discharged David Melville Kidd intends to reside in Lakefield.
There is no reference, in Gunner David Melville Kidd’s Military File indicating what Military Medals he was awarded but based on his Military Service he should have received:
British War Medal; and
He also qualified for War Service Badge CEF Class “A”.
His British War and Victory Medals were sent to Lakefield, Ontario.
Gnr Kidd served with the Canadian Army Expeditionary Force a total of 3 years, 2 months and 24 days: 1 month and 2 days in Canada; 5 months and 15 days in the UK; 2 years, 7 months and 19 days in France and 20 days travel time.
An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:
The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your nation. What could be more honorable.
DAVID MELVILLE KIDD
David “Melville” Kidd was born in Lakefield on September 25, 1893, the son of Arthur John Kidd and Margaret “Maggie” Matilda Burgess. He received his education in the Lakefield, Ontario public schools and apprenticed as a butcher as well as learning the blacksmith trade from his father.
In January 1916, David “Melville” Kidd went to Kingston and enlisted to serve his King and Country. Upon his return from the war, he married Gladys Helen Throop, daughter of Albert James Throop and Catherine Jane Ward. David “Melville” Kidd worked at the Nepheline Mines and worked his way up to Head Foreman.
David “Melville” Kidd passed away on October 13, 1946 and Gladys died on December 4, 1992; both are buried in Little Lake Cemetery in Peterborough, Ontario.
THE DAVID MELVILLE KIDD FAMILY HISTORY OF LAKEFIELD
The paternal great-great grandparents of David “Melville” Kidd were Alexander Kidd born in 1780 in Scotland and Christiana White born in 1780 in Scotland. They married on May 30, 1804 in Linlithgow, Scotland and immigrated to Canada and settled in Lanark County. In 1931 they were living in Dummer Township and Alexander was a carpenter and they had a family of eleven children. Christiana passed away on August 13, 1866 and Alexander died on December 30, 1868; both are buried in the United Church Cemetery in Cottesloe, Ontario.
The great paternal grandparents of David “Melville” Kidd were Walter S. Kidd born in 1811 in Scotland and Elizabeth MacDonald born in 1814. They farmed in Dummer Township and had a family of nine children. Walter passed away in 1882 and Elizabeth died in 1866; both are buried in St. Mark’s Cemetery in Warsaw, Ontario
The maternal grandparents of David “Melville” Kidd were Simon Hamblin born in 1801 in Vermont, USA and Susan Davis born in 1818 in England. They resided in Dummer Township and had a family of six children. Susan passed away on April 22, 1868 and Simon died on August 14, 1875; both are buried in St. Mark’s Cemetery, Warsaw, Ontario
The paternal grandparents of David “Melville” Kidd were Alexander E. Walter Kidd born in 1835 and Sarah Ann Hamblin born in 1842. They resided in Dummer Township and had a family of thirteen children. Alexander passed away on June 4, 1908 and Sarah died January 3, 1917; both are buried in St. Mark’s Cemetery in Warsaw, Ontario.
The maternal grandparents of David “Melville” Kidd were William Burgess born in 1826 in Ireland and Mary Ann McFee born in 1838. They resided in Belmont Township and had five children. Mary Ann passed away on August 21, 1868 and William Burgess died on February 1, 1897; both are buried in the Norwood Asphodel Cemetery in Norwood, Ontario.
The parents of David “Melville” Kidd were Arthur John Kidd born March 27, 1861 and Margaret “Maggie” Matilda Burgess. They made their home on Regent Street in Lakefield and had a family of ten children – Royden Burgess, Harold Arthur, Bertha Blanche, David “Melville”, Rose Lillian, Ralph, Myrtle Anna, Walter Herman, Elsie Irene and Clarice May Kidd. Arthur was a blacksmith by trade and owned and operated the blacksmith shop located at the corner of Water & Bridge Street located next to the bridge. Arthur passed away on January 21, 1929 and Maggie died August 16, 1953; both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.